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The fickle course of popular applause in the North was to exalt a new idol, and to designate a new victim. The clamour was for young commanders. Gen. George B. McClellan had been lifted into a sudden popularity by the indifferent affair of Rich Mountain. He was a graduate of West Point; had been one of the Military Commission sent to the Crimea; and just before the war had been employing his genius as superintendent of a railroad. He was now to take command of the Federal forces on the lin and soldierly qualities. On the 20th of December occurred an affair, which was more creditable to the Federals than any that had yet taken place in the region of the Potomac, and constituted McClellan's first success since the engagement of Rich Mountain. On the day named Gen. J. E. B. Stuart with a large foraging force, consisting of about twenty-five hundred men, fell in with the enemy near Dranesville. The Federals were in superiour force; Gen. Ord's brigade, which was also marching to
William Swinton, Campaigns of the Army of the Potomac, chapter 2 (search)
of retreat, and if cut off from that, his only chance of escape was by difficult roads over the mountains, eastward. Five miles below Garnett's main position at Laurel Hill, a road from the west passes through this spur at a defile known as Rich Mountain, and strikes the main road. To guard this approach against any menace directed upon his line of retreat, Garnett had placed here his second in command, Colonel Pegram, with a force of about one thousand men. McClellan, whose line of march wae the enemy the impression that the main attack was to be made by him. The 8th, Mc-Clellan, with the brigades of Rosecrans and Scheich, moved eastward from Buchanon, and on the following afternoon came within two miles of Pegram's position at Rich Mountain. Having reconnoitred it, he resolved, instead of making a direct attack, to hold one of his brigades in front, while he sent Rosecrans by a detour by the right and southward, to lay hold of the enemy's main line of retreat, the turnpike, and
William Swinton, Campaigns of the Army of the Potomac, Index. (search)
t, 386. Kilpatrick's raid towards Richmond, 399. Kinglake, Mr., on English public sentiment on the Crimean war, 68. Laurel Hill, Virginia, Garnett's position at, 35; McClellan's plan of attack, 37; abandoned by Garnett, 38; see also Rich Mountain. Lee, General Robert E., appointed major-general, and commander of the Virginia forces, 26; defence of West Virginia, 34; on the poor discipline of the army, 67; appointed to Army of Northern Virginia, 142; withdraws Jackson from Shenandoa Appomattox Courthouse, 617; Lee's attempt to cut through Sheridan's lines at Appomattox Courthouse, 617; Lee's surrender, 618; Lee's surrender, opening of correspondence between Grant and Lee, 618. Reynolds, General, the death of, 330. Rich Mountain, Pegram defeated by Rosecrans, 38. Richmond the objective point of the war, 17; the lines of advance to wards in 1861, 22; what a direct march on would have effected, 147; outer line of redoubts pierced by Kilpatrick, 400; merits of plans
McClellan's invasion the affair at Philippi Rich mountain and Laurel Hill death of Garnett operations about Rhe mountain gap to Beverly, behind the mountain line of Rich mountain and Laurel hill, where more sanguinary contests were so cavalry, was stationed before the Buckhannon pass over Rich mountain, a few miles west of Beverly. A forced night march was July 8th consisted of 3,381 men at Laurel hill, 859 at Rich mountain, and 375 at Beverly. The position at Rich mountain, onRich mountain, on a spur near its western base, called Camp Garnett, was fortified with a breastwork of logs covered with an abatis of slashedriven in from Middle Fork bridge between Buckhannon and Rich mountain, and that position was occupied by McCook's brigade, wh Roaring Run flats, in sight of the Confederate camp at Rich mountain, and on that day and next made reconnoissances in force Gauley bridge past Summersville to Birch river, toward Rich mountain. He could not safely make the Parkersburg diversion su
y in the Kanawha valley, while the infantry under Loring in person advanced toward Gauley. In the meantime Imboden, with about 300 men, had made an expedition, attended by several skirmishes, to St. George, and thence returned to Cheat mountain. Jenkins, who expected to surprise Beverly, found it reinforced by General Kelley, and though joined by Imboden he was not strong enough to attack. Consequently Imboden remained and amused the Beverly garrison, while Jenkins rode on, crossing Rich mountain by a trail through the unbroken wilderness. So arduous was this march that some of his men and horses broke down and were left behind. Finally emerging from the wilderness he suddenly entered the fertile valley of the Buckhannon, and after the first consternation due to his appearance had passed, was assailed continually on his march by the home guards of that region. In one of the skirmishes Capt. J. M. Ferguson was painfully wounded. Approaching Buckhannon, by a skillful dispositi
28, 1863, Gen. Benjamin F. Kelley became the Federal commander of the West Virginia department. On June 29th, Col. William L. Jackson, Nineteenth Virginia cavalry, commanding the camp near Huntersville, made an expedition against Beverly, which was held by about 1,000 Federals, hoping to capture the garrison. Advancing beyond Valley mountain, Maj. John B. Lady, with five companies commanded by Capts. D. Evans, W. W. Arnett, Joseph Hayhurst, Duncan and W. W. Boggs, was sent by way of Rich mountain to the rear of the enemy, while Lieut. A. C. Dunn occupied the Philippi road. The pickets, meanwhile, had been quietly captured by Captain Righter, and the main body of Jackson's command was well upon the enemy before his presence was suspected. An advance of the Federals on the Buckhannon road was checked by Captains Marshall and Spriggs, and artillery fire was opened by Lieutenant Thrasher, of Chapman's battery. But no attack was made that day, and on the next morning the Federals
of both armies. Fremont on the march to McDowell, as well as on his return thence to intercept Jackson in the Shenandoah valley, moved his army through Hardy county. Hardy furnished the following organizations to the Confederate service: The Hardy Blues, 60 men, Capt. J. C. B. Mullen; the Hardy Grays, 60 men, Capt. A. Spangler; the South Branch Riflemen, 60 men, Capt. John H. Everly. These three companies were organized at the beginning of hostilities. The Blues and Riflemen were at Rich Mountain in June, 1861, and surrendered by General Pegram and paroled by General Rosecrans. In time they were exchanged and permitted to return to the service, when the Blues were reorganized with J. J. Chipley as captain, and the Riflemen with A. S. Scott as captain, and both were attached to the Sixty-second Virginia infantry regiment. The Grays were ordered to Harper's Ferry early in 1861, and assigned to the Thirty-third regiment of Jackson's brigade, and shared in that heroic service at Fi
hwestern Virginia Grafton. Philippi and Rich mountain May to July, 1861. The concentration onding the advance, and concentrated before Rich mountain, where Lieut.-Col. John Pegram, Twentieth o oppose this force, there were 908 men at Rich mountain and 409 at Beverly, of which 252 were cavae eastward up a hollow and along a spur of Rich mountain, southward of the ones occupied by the Con through the pathless forest up and across Rich mountain, in the heavy rain and thick darkness thenross the rocky and heavily-wooded spurs of Rich mountain, then northeastward and eastward toward th fall on his rear, had continued on across Rich mountain, just before sunset, passing the middle to m., through swamps and forests and across Rich mountain, in drenching rains and mud. They went intng the rough spurs of the eastern slope of Rich mountain toward Laurel hill. Late in the afternoon road. Later, he fell back to the foot of Rich mountain, where, at a secluded farmhouse, near midn[6 more...]
ch fell back, pursued by the Federals, to the force encamped near Scary creek, some 24 miles from Charleston, which, on the afternoon of the 17th, met and repulsed this pursuit. After the engagement at Scary, the Federals crossed the river and encamped on the north side. The next day Wise attacked Cox's advance post with some 800 men of all arms under McCausland, forcing them to retreat to their intrenched camp near the mouth of the Pocotalico. The retreat of Garnett's forces from Rich mountain and Laurel hill, and the advance of McClellan to Cheat mountain, thus threatening a movement on Staunton, or to the Virginia Central railroad, or to the Kanawha line at Lewisburg, induced the Confederate authorities to promptly reinforce the Northwestern army in McClellan's front, and to concentrate forces on the Kanawha line by withdrawing Wise toward Lewisburg and advancing Floyd from the valley in the southwest to the same line. Col. A. W. McDonald, in command of a large cavalry forc
ng this marvelous scheme, Patterson replied, on the 12th, that it confirmed his impression as to the insecurity of his position, and he asked permission to transfer his depot to Harper's Ferry and his forces to the Charlestown line, as defeat in the Shenandoah valley would be ruin everywhere. Scott at once gave his consent, suggesting that later he could march to Alexandria, by way of Hillsboro and Leesburg, but that he must not recross the Potomac. The news of McClellan's success at Rich mountain, on the 12th, elated Patterson, but he maintained that his column was the keystone of the combined movements, and it must be preserved in order to secure the fruits of that and other victories; that it would not do to hazard that result by a defeat, and he would act cautiously while preparing to strike. Scott promptly replied that if he was not strong enough to defeat Johnston the coming week, he must make demonstrations to detain him in the valley. After having tarried twelve days a
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